Quotes of the Month – May 2014

MarcinGortat

By JT.

“He’s just a wanker, pretty much.”
- Golden State’s Andrew Bogut when asked about his thoughts on Stephen A. Smith who went on record to suggest that Bogut has no heart.

Second that.

“Yeah? You’re a 30-year-old guy, you want to look like a freaking caveman?”
- Washington’s Marcin Gortat to a reporter who commented on his shaven armpits saying that it is unusual in America for men to do that.

That’s how they roll in Poland, apparently.

“Honestly, I didn’t care.”
- The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ when asked if he was happy that Mike D’Antoni accepted a buyout from the Lakers.

Love his honesty.

“Outside of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, we’re more talented than them.”
- Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson prior to their second round matchup with the Heat.

I’d go one step further, Joe. Outside of the Heat, Spurs, Thunder, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pacers, Warriors, Mavericks, Rockets and Blazers, you’re probably the best team in the league…..

“This is a very tough business. It pains all of us here that we needed to make the difficult decision of releasing Mike Brown.”
- Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert announcing Mike Brown’s firing, for a second time.

It “pains us”? Give me a break! Yeah, sure, LeBron’s going to come back to Cleveland to line this guy’s pockets.

“I can shoot the 3-ball. I just decide not to.”
- Miami’s Dwyane Wade.

Good on him. This assertion that everyone needs to be shooting threes to be effective is patently false (of course it would be helpful but there are other skills and abilities that matter in basketball). He’s done alright without it.

“D-Wade doesn’t mind being the ‘other guy’. He’s won all of his championships being the other guy.”
- TNT ‘analyst’ Shaquille O’Neal on Dwyane Wade.

You’re a clown, Shaq.

“Suckers.”
- New Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr when asked on the ‘Dan Le Batard Show’ how with no coaching experience he merited a bidding war among teams and ultimately received a five-year, $25 million deal.

Coaching in the NBA sure has become a bizarre profession.

“Well, I told him it never ends well there. Just look at recent history. It’s because of one man (Dolan). There is no happiness there. I say this with all kinds of friends I have there and (the ones) at the MSG Network. Everybody hates being there. For coaches it’s very difficult. Steve couldn’t accept anyone (from MSG’s PR staff) following him around with a tape recorder. Like Phil, Steve is a guy who wants to say what he wants to say. He’s very opinionated, which doesn’t always work when you are at the Garden.”
- Kerr’s colleague at TNT Marv Albert on the advice he gave Kerr about the New York Knicks.

Speaking of bizarre.

“There’s no sugarcoating it – it was a weird, expedited situation that we didn’t see coming.”
- Golden State’s Steph Curry on the Mark Jackson firing and subsequent Steve Kerr hire.

Kerr’s more inclusive approach should be a win for Andrew Bogut. He might actually see the ball on offense now.

“He’s softer then baby sh*t”
- Gilbert Arenas on Twitter directed at Roy Hibbert during his struggles against the Wizards in the second round of the playoffs.

Says the guy who washed out of the league at age 30.

“Like God came in a dream, talked to me, and he gave me that name. And I was like, ‘You know what, God? That is a funny name and I might need to run with it.’ And ever since then, I’ve been calling myself ‘Swaggy P.’ It’s a household name now.”
- The Lakers Nick Young on how he got his nickname.

I’m not sure how to respond to that.

“He actually wants to be recruited, all the dating, all that stuff, he wants to do that and see if he falls in love.”
- Memphis’ Marc Gasol on his brother Pau who will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

He needs to get out of LA, and he will. The San Antonio Spurs.

“I can’t play with blind point guards. I can’t do that. I have to play with a willing passer. John [Wall] is probably atop that list.”
- Marcin Gortat when asked about his plans for free agency. He will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

More quotes from this guy, please.

Q: “Do you say something from 300 before games sometimes?”

MG: “Hell yes.”

Q: “What do you say?”

MG: “PREPARE. FOR. GLORY!”

Q: “Before a game?”

MG: “Always. When we’re running out, I’ll say from 300 ‘This is Sparta!’ or ‘Prepare for glory!’ [or] ’Give them nothing but take everything!’”

Q: “Are you doing this to be funny or serious?”

MG: “Serious. You know, yelling loud. I’m saying the quotes from Gladiator: ‘We who are coming to die salute you!”

- Marcin Gortat being questioned by a reporter about his propensity to yell out lines from movies prior to games.

Interesting dude.

“12.5 mill to 2 bill in 33 years. #foolmeonce #losingmoney #lockout”
- Andrew Bogut on Twitter when hearing the news that Steve Ballmer paid $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers. The $12.5 million refers to the price that Donald Sterling paid for the Clippers 33 years ago.

Billionaires crying poor – it was absurd then and it’s outrageous now.

“It’s a sign of weakness.”
- Indiana’s Lance Stephenson prior to Game 4 when asked about LeBron engaging in trash-talk during Game 3. The Heat easily defeated the Pacers in Game 4 with LeBron going for 32 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, whilst Stephenson only scored 9 points.

I like his bravado but that went a step too far. You don’t poke the bear, Lance.

“He what now?”
- Indiana’s Roy Hibbert when told in the locker-room after Game 5 about Lance Stephenson blowing in LeBron James’ ear.

The creepy ear blow and then LeBron’s response – hilarious.

“On Wednesday night, he looked like a Ron Artest-Stephen Jackson-Jamaal Tinsley Molotov cocktail. He trolled the Heat and the cameras in Game 5. He blew in LeBron’s ear. He chest-bumped Wade to the floor. Stephenson interfered with Erik Spoelstra’s huddle. Stephenson is burning money. He has the biggest heart on the Pacers’ roster and the least amount of self-control. Only a fool would give him a big contract. Signing Stephenson will be a sign of weakness by some NBA franchise.”
- ESPN’s Jason Whitlock on Stephenson’s Game 5 performance.

He’s not wrong – Lance has cost himself a boatload of money and any team who backs up the truck and pays him big is asking for trouble. A three-year, $30 million deal would seem reasonable given his issues.

“I mean, I don’t know.”
- Indiana’s Paul George in the post-game press conference after they were eliminated in Game 6 when asked if he wants Lance Stephenson to return to the Pacers next season.

That’s huge. He must be a bear to deal with in the locker room.

“I don’t bang anybody anymore. It’s a tired thing for me. It’s not my strength and I understand that.”
- Miami’s Chris Bosh explaining why he doesn’t play in the post anymore.

He’s expected to do all the dirty work on D and then provide spacing for James and Wade on O, so fair call.

“I don’t want to go anywhere. I like it here. It’s Miami. Everybody wants to come here. Yeah.” (Questioner: Would you consider taking less money, like you did in 2010?) “If that’s what it takes.”
- Chris Bosh when asked if he wants to stay in Miami.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see James, Wade and Bosh all opt out and take a haircut on their new deals so the Heat can acquire more talent and keep this thing going for another 4-5 years.

“You know, no specific plans, but we’re looking at it. Australia has been a terrific market for us historically. Ultimately we need to do more than play preseason games around the world to build our business. As you might imagine, it’s incredibly labor intensive to take these teams overseas.
But I noticed you have a smartphone in your hand. I think that’s our future, the ability to watch these games in real time on any device, to be part of a large social networking community, to be the equivalent of a fan in an arena. That’s what we hope to do with our fans in Australia.”

- NBA commissioner Adam Silver when asked by Nick Metallinos if the league has any plans to play exhibition or preseason games in Australia in the future.

Nada.

“I think Kevin Durant as our most valuable player embodies what this league is all about, and frankly Mr. Sterling doesn’t.”
- Adam Silver.

Well said.

“He acts so holy. He made love to every girl in every city in America, and he got AIDS.”
- Donald Sterling on Magic Johnson during the infamous CNN interview.

Wow.

“Check my things on YouTube, man.”
- Brooklyn’s Mirza Teletovic when asked during the Miami series if he’s always had confidence in his shot.

I could see that on a t-shirt.

“I’m almost over that, man. I’m like 50. I’m like 50 right now. Because that’s one of his tactics. You don’t have to just play. That’s just a measly guy. You don’t have the shine to do that, you guys up throwing cheap shots, things of that nature. It’ll catch back up with him. Somebody is going to probably hit him, and it’s not going to be a push next time. You know what I’m saying? He better be careful who he doing that stuff to. You know what I mean? It’s just like, for real, if you think about it, if Z-Bo would have really punched him, for real, c’mon, he would have been… (Vernon: “Out?”) … exactly. Keep playing those cheap-shot games, somebody is going to catch up with him.”
- Memphis’ Tony Allen on the ‘Chris Vernon Show’ when asked how he feels about the Thunder’s Steven Adams. Allen’s teammate Zach Randolph was suspended for Game 7 of their first round clash with OKC after striking Adams in Game 6.

I don’t think Adams is dirty – he just plays hard and physical on every possession and some guys don’t like it.

“Red Auerbach always told me you need to get agitators. He’s one of those for sure.”
- Clippers coach Doc Rivers on Steven Adams.

Adams should probably be their starting center next season.

“He acts like he grew up on the farm chasing hogs.”
- OKC’s Kendrick Perkins on Adams.

Look in the mirror, Perk. Speaking of Perkins, I’ve got a rant. I want to stick up for this guy because I think people have gone way too far in criticising him. He’s everybody’s favourite punching bag it seems and he’s made out to be this useless basketball player. That is so unfair. Sure, he’s overpaid, he’s a liability on offense and he probably shouldn’t be starting but he can absolutely play a role in this league as a low post defender (still very good), screen setter (elite) and tough guy. Just look at these playoffs – he got no credit for it but he’s done a good job against all the bigs that he’s faced, especially Gasol and Randolph in the Memphis series. But people ignore that because apparently it’s cool to mock the guy. I’m with ya, big fella.

“The military, when they go out there to fight, when they sign, they sign for everything … That’s what I get paid for.”
- Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka following his stunning Game 3 performance returning from a calf injury.

What a journey – raised in the poverty and war stricken Congo; one of 18 children; his mother died and his father became a political prisoner. Amazing.

“There’s no excuses now. What happens a lot of times in this thing is — and I know because I talk to coaches all the time. Coaches say, `I’m doing a great job but this guy is not getting me good enough players.’ And the front office is telling ownership, `We put together a great roster and the coach is screwing it up.’ There’s none of that anymore. It’s on us to get it done.”
- Stan Van Gundy, the new coach and president of basketball operations for the Detroit Pistons.

Finally, there’s hope for Detroit Piston fans. It’s been awhile.

“That’s definitely the biggest shot of my life. So far.”
- Portland’s Damian Lillard after his buzzer-beating 3-pointer in Game 6 to eliminate the Houston Rockets from the playoffs and advance to the second round.

I love his confidence.

“If we keep this team together we could be the OKC of the east. It is a great chemistry and healthy locker room.”
- Toronto’s Greivis Vasquez.

I don’t see it, Greivis.

“Are you kidding? I was a professional rehab/workout guy for four years. I wasn’t even a basketball player — just a guy who got paid to exercise. I spent four years trying to get back on an NBA court. Now that I’ve done that, it’s not fair to myself to complain about minutes. I knew coming into this that I wasn’t going to be the player I once was. I just wanted to get healthy and then help out any way I could.” (Questioner: Do you have any regrets about your career?) “I’m over all of that. I know I’m one of the biggest busts in NBA history and I know that it’ll only get worse as Kevin Durant continues doing big things … It’s frustrating that my body can’t do what my mind wants it to do sometimes. But worrying or complaining about it isn’t going to fix anything … I wish the circumstances would let me play more, but I certainly don’t regret coming back, and I don’t regret signing with the Heat.”
- Miami’s Greg Oden when asked if he is disappointed about his lack of playing time for the Heat.

I don’t like to see him buying into this narrative and calling himself a bust. Kwame Brown, Michael Olowokandi, Andrea Bargnani – they’re busts. But Oden, if his body held up, would have been a dominant player. There’s a difference.

JT is the former Editor of the now defunct NBAMate. One of Australia’s original & most successful NBA blogs. You can find him on twitter @JThoopin.

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